Orderliness is half the battle. This guiding principle will sound familiar to most of us, because it was repeated so many times by parents who, with varying degrees of success, tried to encourage their offspring to keep their children's rooms tidy.
And to be honest - it hasn't changed all that much to this day. Most parents want their children's or teenager’s room to be tidy without having to fuss over it each day anew. After all, our upbringing shapes us. We adopt many of the behaviours of our family environment and pass them on to our children.
Tidying up is most certainly a never-ending topic of debate. Nowadays, even the experts have discovered it for themselves, and it is almost trendy to consult a "tidying coach". But the desire for tidiness is far more than a passing trend. And it applies to all generations, regardless of age.
After all, eliminating unnecessary clutter brings with it freedom. Space for new ideas and a fresh perspective. The structure-giving component of tidying up helps us to tackle problems on the outside with new verve and a new approach. Having experienced this for oneself can fuel the desire to also teach your children the benefits of tidying up. And not to regard it as an "unpopular legacy" from our own youth.
An overabundance of toys brings with it more disadvantages than just the impossibility of maintaining a pleasant level of tidiness in a cluttered children's room. The children start to take everything for granted. What was once special loses its appeal and is no longer appreciated.
An abundance of toys discourages children from engaging more deeply with something, creating things themselves and learning from them. The first rudiments of concentration are promoted playfully by arousing an interest in dealing with something in a more intensive way. These golden opportunities are nipped in the bud if there is always something new to do because of so much colourful distraction all around.
Another advantage of a tidy children's room is that it offers more mental space and more room for the child's natural urge to be active. An open space encourages dancing and a very soft carpet encourages joyful play when there is no garden available or the children have to stay indoors for other reasons.
By their very nature, children like to play - but not so much to tidy up. To overcome this hurdle, it can be helpful to furnish the children's room in a way that makes it easy to keep things tidy. This does not require any big investments. The first step could be to sort out what's no longer needed. In every room there are things that are expendable, broken or simply no longer used. Find out together with your child which toys these are.
Things that are sorted out do not immediately have to be thrown away. There is surely enough room in the basement where they can first be stored in boxes for a while. This way you can find out if they are really not missed. Afterwards, they can be given away, for example, or can be sold at a flea market, or you can hold on to the things you have grown fond of if you are still planning to have more children.
Generally, closed storage space for individual items will make the room feel more tidy than if you place them on an open shelf. Furniture or DIY stores have a wide range of pretty boxes that also serve as decoration. These can be labelled "dolls", "cars" or whatever else is being stored. This makes it easy to stow everything away and easy to find. Bed drawers are also great storage spaces.
If children can sense from their parents what an uplifting and satisfying feeling a tidy home can evoke, and you can find playful and inspiring ways and means to get them used to tidying their own room regularly, then the debate about this will hopefully soon be a thing of the past.